Community Centre in the Works? Regional Group project expected to go before city council within two months

A proposal to create a community centre in the Deschâtelets Building has been under discussions. This graphic shows the vision imagined by Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) and created by Hobin Architecture. Image by Hobin Architecture

A proposal to create a community centre in the Deschâtelets Building has been under discussions. This graphic shows the vision imagined by Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) and created by Hobin Architecture.
Image by Hobin Architecture

By Don Stephenson

Discussions between officials of the City of Ottawa and The Regional Group, the developer of Greystone Village, assessing the costs and technical feasibility of creating a new community
centre in a restored and expanded Deschâtelets Building should result in a decision soon. The former Oblate Fathers’ building at 175 Main Street, is a local landmark and a protected heritage building, which presents both opportunities and challenges in adapting it to new uses.

Many residents believe that Old Ottawa East is underserved in indoor community facilities. The existing community centre, housed in the Old Town Hall at 61 Main St., comprises only two rooms, only one of which is accessible to people with limited mobility and with little in the way of specialized equipment for sports or recreation programs.

Inset: Design concepts by Lori Chan, Mimi Gagne and Summer Bourgon, Carleton University.

Design concepts by Lori Chan, Mimi Gagne and Summer Bourgon, Carleton University.

The Deschâtelets Building – located at the end of the planned pedestrian street and in the geographic centre of the community – has the potential to provide multiple, purpose-built and equipped spaces for sports and recreation, including a full-size gymnasium. The now vacant building offers an opportunity to create a community hub for youth and adult programs, community meetings, health and other services, in a preserved and repurposed heritage property. Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC), a not-for-profit housing organization, has also been studying the feasibility of including affordable housing units in the design of the new facility.

At the Jan. 9, 2018 meeting of the Ottawa East Community Association, Coun. David Chernushenko reported that a recommendation on the project is expected to come before City Council within the two months. No decision has been made about the usage of the existing Old Town Hall should the City decide to move forward with the Deschâtelets Building project. It is certain, however, that community groups are hopeful for a positive decision on a new centre and look forward to expanding their programs and services.

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Filed in: Front Page, News

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